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Webber wins again, edges closer to WEC title

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 1st November, 2015 - 8:13pm

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Webber, Hartley and Bernhard claim their fourth straight victory in Shanghai

Webber, Hartley and Bernhard claim their fourth straight victory in Shanghai

Mark Webber is tantalisingly close to scoring a maiden championship after helping his Porsche team to another victory in the World Endurance Championship at Shanghai.

Run in atrocious conditions before drying out in the latter stages, Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard soared to their fourth straight win.

It also served as Porsche’s fifth consecutive win following success at Le Mans in June with its part-time third 919 Hybrid while the marque also secured the manufacturer’s championship in China.

Webber completed the final stint after Hartley began the race in challenging conditions with Bernhard crucially coming up trumps in the middle stages after a titanic LMP1 battle.

Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas gave Porsche a 1-2 with the #7 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler third.

Dumas led the way from Webber inside the last half hour, staying out to build up a cushion over the lead Audi and maximise Porsche’s points haul as the Frenchman still had to complete a final stop.

Porsche then called Dumas in with 15 minutes remaining for a splash and dash before emerging in second place, crucially in front of the Audi.

The result ensures the WEC driver’s title will go down to a thrilling final round in Bahrain with Webber, Hartley and Bernhard squeezing their lead out to 12 points over the #7 Audi.

Dumas had put a scare in the Porsche camp when he spun attempting to pass the LMP2 Pegasus machine which then let Fassler through to second place with just over 1:20m remaining.

Soon after Audi called Fassler in with the Joest squad electing to bolt on slick tyres in an aggressive call to take the fight to Porsche.

Porsche responded by calling Webber in to follow Audi’s suit with 72 minutes remaining before rejoining and protecting his lead.

The ex-F1 racer then turned up the heat by stretching his advantage to over 30s inside the final hour.

Webber had taken charge of the #17 with just under two hours remaining while Dumas settled into the #18.

The victory means that in the twilight of his career at 39, Webber stands to finally win a Championship.

Earlier, a furious three-car battle saw Treluyer gain the lead just short of the four hour mark before Jani assumed the front and then Bernhard took command.

Just after half-race distance Porsche double stinted both 919s on the Michelin rain tyres which enabled the #18 and #17 to increase their edge over the third and fourth placed Audis.

The first 12 minutes of the race was paced by the Safety Car before it peeled off, however not even a full lap was completed before a full course yellow was shown.

Marc Lieb had immediately snatched the lead away from Brendon Hartley however drama unfolded soon after when Lieb spun after contact from Lotterer.

Lieb was beached on a kerb before managing to free himself however by the time he rejoined he was at the back of the field before staging an electrifying fightback through traffic.

Soon after Lieb’s incident the KCMG LMP2 Nissan-powered Oreca at the hands of Nick Tandy spun and had to be pulled free from the gravel which ensured a truncated start to the race.

After going green for a second time Hartley led the Andre Lotterer which moved ahead of its sister car.
Hartley maintained station at the front before pitting and mirroring Lotterer by double stinting 1:15s into the race.

In LMP2 Tom Dillman took the win in the Signatech Alpine ahead of the G-Drive Nissan-powered Ligier driven by Roman Rusinov.

GTE Pro saw Michael Christensen guide the Porsche Team Manthey 911 RSR to victory while Francois Perrodo took honours in GTE Am in an AF Corse Ferrari 458.

The WEC will reach its conclusion at Bahrain for Round 8 from November 19-21.

See full results below

1 T.Bernhard/M.Webber/B.Hartley Porsche 169 6:00:07
2 R.Dumas/N.Jani/M.Lieb Porsche 169 26.29
3 M.Fässler/A.Lotterer/B.Tréluyer Audi 169 30.31
4 L.di Grassi/L.Duval/O.Jarvis Audi 169 50.90
5 A.Wurz/S.Sarrazin/M.Conway Toyota 165 4 Laps
6 A.Davidson/S.Buemi/K.Nakajima Toyota 164 5 Laps
7 N.Prost/M.Beche Rebellion/AER 158 11 Laps
8 S.Trummer/P.Kaffer CLM/AER 156 13 Laps
9 N.Panciatici/P-L.Chatin/T.Dillmann Alpine/Nissan 154 15 Laps
10 R.Rusinov/J.Canal/S.Bird Ligier/Nissan 153 16 Laps
11 M.Howson/R.Bradley/N.Tandy ORECA/Nissan 153 16 Laps
12 P.Ragues/O.Webb/C.Cumming Morgan/SARD 152 17 Laps
13 D.Cheng/H-Pin Tung/A.Brundle Morgan/Nissan 152 17 Laps
14 R.Lietz/M.Christensen Porsche 151 18 Laps
15 G.Bruni/T.Vilander Ferrari 151 18 Laps
16 P.Pilet/F.Makowiecki Porsche 151 18 Laps
17 D.Rigon/J.Calado Ferrari 150 19 Laps
18 A.MacDowall/F.Rees/R.Stanaway Aston Martin 149 20 Laps
19 D.Turner/J.Adam Aston Martin 149 20 Laps
20 E.Brown/J.van Overbeek/J.Fogarty Ligier/HPD 147 22 Laps
21 F.Perrodo/E.Collard/R.Águas Ferrari 146 23 Laps
22 P.D.Lana/P.Lamy/M.Lauda Aston Martin 146 23 Laps
23 V.Shaitar/A.Bertolini/A.Basov Ferrari 145 24 Laps
24 P.Dempsey/P.Long/M.Seefried Porsche 145 24 Laps
25 G.Roda/P.Ruberti/N.Sylvest Chevrolet 144 25 Laps
26 N.Leventis/D.Watts/J.Kane Gibson/Nissan 144 25 Laps
27 F.Castellacci/L.Griffin/S.Hall Aston Martin 139 30 Laps
28 C.Ried/K.Al Qubaisi/K.Bachler Porsche 139 30 Laps
A.Imperatori/D.Kraihamer/M.Tuscher Rebellion/AER 153 Retirement
G.Yacamán/L.Derani/R.González Ligier/Nissan 152 Retirement
S.Sharp/R.Dalziel/D.Hansson Ligier/HPD 88 Retirement

Driver’s points standings

1

Brendon Hartley

155

1

Mark Webber

155

1

Timo Bernhard

155

2

Benoît Tréluyer

143

2

André Lotterer

143

2

Marcel Fässler

143

3

Romain Dumas

113.5

3

Neel Jani

113.5

3

Marc Lieb

113.5

4

Oliver Jarvis

91

4

Lucas di Grassi

91

4

Loïc Duval

91

5

Anthony Davidson

67

5

Sébastien Buemi

67

6

Nick Tandy

66.5

7

Mike Conway

64

7

Alexander Wurz

64

7

Stéphane Sarrazin

64

8

Kazuki Nakajima

63

9

Nico Hülkenberg

58

9

Earl Bamber

58

10

Sam Bird

27.5

10

Roman Rusinov

27.5

10

Julien Canal

27.5

11

René Rast

24

11

Marco Bonanomi

24

11

Filipe Albuquerque

24

12

Richard Bradley

21

12

Matt Howson

21

13

Gustavo Yacamán

17.5

13

Ricardo González

17.5

13

Luis Derani

17.5

14

Nicolas Prost

14

14

Mathias Beche

14

15

Nicolas Lapierre

12.5

16

Simon Trummer

12.5

16

Pierre Kaffer

12.5

17

Nick Leventis

6.5

17

Danny Watts

6.5

17

Jonny Kane

6.5

18

Paul-Loup Chatin

4.5

18

Nelson Panciatici

4.5

19

Scott Sharp

4.5

19

David Hansson

4.5

19

Ryan Dalziel

4.5

20

Pierre Ragues

4

20

Oliver Webb

4

21

Ed Brown

3.5

21

Jon Fogarty

3.5

22

Johannes van Overbeek

3

23

Jacques Nicolet

2.5

23

Jean-Marc Merlin

2.5

23

Erik Maris

2.5

24

Vincent Capillaire

2.5

25

Tom Dillmann

2

26

Archie Hamilton

2

27

Nick Heidfeld

2

28

Dominik Kraihamer

2

28

Daniel Abt

2

28

Alexandre Imperatori

2

29

Zoel Amberg

1

30

Chris Cumming

1

31

David Brabham

0.5

32

Max Chilton

0

32

Mark Shulzhitskiy

0

32

Alex Buncombe

0

32

Vitantonio Liuzzi

0

32

Christian Klien

0

32

Michael Krumm

0

32

Tsugio Matsuda

0

32

Olivier Pla

0

32

Jann Mardenborough

0

32

Laurens Vanthoor

0

32

Tiago Monteiro

0

32

Lucas Ordóñez

0

32

Kévin Estre

0

32

Harry Tincknell

0

32

Mathéo Tuscher

0

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